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WhetheR the Sensitive Plant, or that Which within its boughs like a spirit sat, Ere its outward form had known decay, , Now felt this change, I cannot say.
Whether that lady's gentle mind,
I dare not guess; but in this life
It is a modest creed, and yet
That garden sweet, that lady fair,
For love, and beauty, and delight,
A VISION OF THE SEA.
'Tis the terror of tempest. The rags of the sail
pass To their graves in the deep with an earthquake of sound, And the waves and the thunders, made silent around, Leave the wind to its echo. The vessel, now tossed Thro the low trailing rack of the tempest, is ost In the skirts of the thunder-cloud: now down the sweep Of the wind-cloven wave to the chasm of the deep It sinks, and the walls of the watery vale wo depths of dread calm are unmoyed by the gale, Dim mirrors of ruin, hang gleaming about; While the surf, like a chaos of stars, like a rout of death-flames, like whirlpools of fire-flowing
Iron, With splendour and terror the black ship environ;
Or like sulphur-flakes hurled from a mine of pale
The great ship seems splitting ! it cracks as a tree, While an earthquake is splintering its root, ere the blast Of the whirlwind that stript it of branches has past. The intense thunder-balls which are raining from heaven Have shattered its mast, and it stands black and riven. The chinks suck destruction. The heavy dead hulk On the living sea rolls an inanimate bulk, Like a corpse on the clay which is hung’ring to fold Its corruption around it. hold, One deck is burst up from the waters below, And it splits like the ice when the thaw-breezes blow O'er the lakes of the desert! Who sit on the other? Is that all the crew that lie burying each other, Like the dead in a breach, round the foremast ! Are those Twin tigers, who burst, when the waters arose, In the agony of terror, their chains in the hold (What now makes them tame, is what then made them bold) Who crouch, side by side, and have driven, like a crank The deep orip of their claws through the vibrating Are these all ! [plank?
Meanwhile, from the
Nine weeks the tall vessel had lain On the windless expanse of the watery plain, Where the death-darting sun cast no shadow at noon, And there seemed to be fire in the beams of the moon, Till a lead-coloured fog gathered up from the deep, Whose breath was quick pestilence; then, the cold slee Crept, i. blight through the ears of a thick field of corn, O'er the populous vessel. And even and morn, With their hammocks for coffins the seamen aghast Like dead men the dead limbs of their comrades cast Down the deep, which closed on them above and around, And the sharks and the dog-fish their grave-clothes unbound, And were glutted like Jews with this manna rained down From God on their wilderness. One after one The mariners died; on the eve of this day, When the tempest was gathering in cloudy array, But seven remained. Six the thunder had smitten, And they lie black as mummies on which Time has written His scorn of the embalmer; the seventh, from the deck An oak splinter pierced through his breast and his back, And hung out to the tempest, a wreck on the wreck. s
No more ? At the helm sits a woman more fair Than heaven, when, unbinding its star-braided hair, It sinks with the sum on the earth and the sea. She clasps a bright child on her upgathered knee, It laughs at the lightning, it mocks the mixed thunder Of the air and the sea, with desire and with wonder It is beckoning the tigers to rise and come near, It would play with those eyes where the radiance of fear Is outshining the meteors; its bosom beats high, The heart-fire of pleasure has kindled its eye; Whilst its mother's is lustreless. “Smile not, my child, But sleep deeply and sweetly, and so be beguiled Of the pang that awaits us, whatever that be, So dreadful since thou must divide it with me ! Dream, sleep ! This pale bosom, thy cradle and bed, Will it rock thee not, infant? 'Tis beating with dread 1 Alas! what is life, what is death, what are we, That when the ship sinks we no longer may be? What to see thee no more, and to feel thee no more ? To be after life what we have been before ? [eyes, Not to touch those sweet hands, not to look on those Those lips, and that hair, all that smiling disguise Thou, yet wearest, sweet spirit, which I, day by day, Have so long called my child, but which now fades away Like a rainbow, and I the fallen shower o’”
Lo the ship Is settling, it topples, the leeward ports dip; The tigers leap up when they feel the slow brine Crawling inch by inch on them; hair, ears, limbs, and eyne, Stand rigid with horror; a loud, long, hoarse cry Burst at once from their vitals tremendously, And 'tis borne down the mountainous vale of the wave, Rebounding, like thunder, from crag to cave, Mixed with the clash of the lashing rain, Hurried on by the might of the hurricane: The hurricane came from the west, and past on By the path of the gate of the eastern sun, Transversely dividing the stream of the storm; As an arrowy serpent, pursuing the form Of an elephant, bursts through the brakes of the waste. Black as a cormorant the screaming blast, Between ocean and heaven, like an ocean, past, Till it came to the clouds on the verge of the world Which, based on the sea and to heaven upcurled, Like columns and walls did surround and sustain The dome of the tempest ; it rent them in twain, As a flood rends its barriers of mountainous
And the dense clouds in many a ruin and rag,
Like the stones of a temple ere earthquake has past,
Like the dust of its fall, on the whirlwind are cast;
They are scattered like foam on the torrent; and where
The wind has burst out through the chasm, from the air
Where Is the ship ! On the verge of the wave where it lay One tiger is mingled in ghastly affray [battle With a sea-snake. The foam and the smoke of the Stain the clear air with sunbows; the jar, and the rattle Of solid bones crushed by the infinite stress Of the snake's adamantine voluminousness; And the hum of the hot blood that spouts and rains Where the gripe of the tiger has wounded the veins, Swollen with rage, strength, and effort; the whirl and the splash As of some hideousengine whose brazenteeth smash The thin winds and soft waves into thunder 1 the Screams And hissings crawl fast o'er the smooth oceanstreams, Each sound like a centipede. Near this commotion, A blue shark is hanging within the blue ocean, The fin-winged tomb of the victor. The other Is winning his way from the fate of his brother, To his own with the speed of despair. Lo! a boat Advances; twelve rowers with the impulse of thought Urge on the keen keel, the brine foams. At the stern Three marksmen stand levelling. Hot bullets burn
In the breast of the tiger, which yet bears him on
To his refuge and ruin. One fragment alone,
The child and the ocean still smile on each other,
I. I BRING fresh showers for the thirsting flowers, From the seas and the streams; I bear light shades for the leaves when laid In their noon-day dreams. From my wings are shaken the dews that waken The sweet buds every one, When rocked to rest on their mother's breast, As she dances about the sun. I wield the flail of the lashing hail, And whiten the green plains under, And then again I dissolve it in rain, And laugh as I pass in thunder.
II. I sift the snow on the mountains below, And their great pines groan aghast; And all the night 'tis my pillow white, While I sleep in the arms of the blast. Sublime on the towers of my skiey bowers, Lightning my pilot sits, In a cavern under is fettered the thunder, It struggles and howls at fits; Over earth and ocean with gentle motion, This pilot is guiding me, Lured by the love of the genii that move In the depths of the purple sea; Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills, Over the lakes and the plains, Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream, The Spirit he loves remains; And I all the while bask in heaven's blue smile, Whilst he is dissolving in rains.
III. The sanguine sunrise, with his meteor eyes, And his burning plumes outspread, Leaps on the back of my sailing rack, When the morning star shines dead. As on the jag of a mountain crag, Which an earthquake rocks and swings, An eagle alit one moment may sit In the light of its golden wings. And when sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath, Its ardours of rest and of love, And the crimson pall of eve may fall From the depth of heaven above, With wings folded I rest, on mine airy nest, As still as a brooding dove.
rv. That orbed maiden, with white fire laden, Whom mortals call the moon, Glides glimmering o'er my fleece-like floor, By the midnight breezes strewn ; And wherever the beat of her unseen feet, Which only the angels hear, May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof, The stars peep behind her and peer; And I laugh to see them whirl and flee, ... Like a swarm of golden bees, When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent, Till the calm rivers, lakes, and seas, Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high, Are each paved with the moon and these.
I bind the sun's throne with the burning zone,
v1. I am the daughter of earth and water, And the nursling of the sky: I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores; I change, but I cannot die. For after the rain, when with never a stain, The pavilion of heaven is bare, And the winds and sunbeams with their convex Build up the blue dome of air, [gleams, I silently laugh at my own cenotaph, And out of the caverns of rain, Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the I arise and unbuild it again. [tomb,
THE fountains mingle with the river,
See the mountains kiss high heaven,
I fear thy kisses, gentle maiden,
My spirit is too deeply laden
I fear thy mien, thy tones, thy motion,